'A Taste of Hampden' and a taste of the holiday season

As I write this, I'm in the process of gearing up for a huge next couple of weeks.

Between now and my next column, Hampden will have had both A Taste of Hampden (Oct. 25), and Hampden HalloweenFest (Oct. 31).

A Taste of Hampden is a food benefit for the Hampden Family Center, which at this point looks to have a record turnout, and Hampden HalloweenFest is an annual Halloween celebration that involves trick or treating on The Avenue, as well as a costume contest.

And, of course, a crazy (in a good way) holiday season is on the horizon with the lights display of the Miracle on 34th Street less than a month away, plus the Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade and five promotional "First Fridays" in December, sponsored by the Hampden Village Merchants Association (more on that in an upcoming column).

Hampden has yet another new restaurant that has foodies all abuzz. Birroteca, 1520 Clipper Road, has opened where Kolper's used to be, offering craft beer, artisan pizza and more. It's on my "go to" list and the feedback I've heard from friends is that it's really good stuff.

So as we prepare for a fun holiday season, go out, grab something to eat, and check out some of these events.

I'm unofficially calling Friday, Oct. 26,"Night of Clever Band Names," as Ringo Deathstarr plays the Golden West Café, 1105 W. 36th St., with Ra Ra Rasputin and Deaf Leaf Echo. Doors open at 10 p.m.

Hospitality (they have the hit single "Friends of Friends") plays Golden West with Teen and Alto Verde, on Oct. 29.

Speaking of foodies, if you are one or know one, you'll want to be sure to check out Trohv, 921 W. 36th St., on Nov. 2 as the furniture store hosts "The Brown Betty Cookbook" signing from 6-9 p.m. Brown Betty is one of Philadelphia's most loved bakeries, and authors Linda Hamilton Brown and Norrinda Brown Hayat will be signing copies of their book and sharing cupcakes.

You can even pre-order boxes of these famous cupcakes at $12 each by calling 410-366-3456. They are offering a vintage box (chocolate, vanilla, lemon and carrot) and a modern box (red velvet, almond caramel, sweet potato and coconut).


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